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Journalist severely assaulted



(CPJ/IFEX) - At approximately midnight on 29 October 1998, Ogen Kevin Aliro,
chief sub-editor of the Kampala independent daily newspaper "The Monitor",
sustained a compound fracture to the collar bone, a fractured shoulder
blade, and injuries to his face, arms, and legs in an assault carried out by
approximately six unidentified men near Aliro's residence in Ntindi,
Kampala.




Aliro had stopped his car when another car pulled out from a side street,
blocking the road. When he exited his vehicle to ask for passage, he saw
that another car had blocked his vehicle from behind. Two men from each car,
rushed out from the vehicles and knocked Aliro to the ground. As Aliro fell,
he noticed two more men coming towards him from some nearby storefronts. The
men pinned Aliro's face to the ground as they punched and kicked his head
and back.

One of the assailants called Aliro by his first name, and another shouted,
"This will teach you to keep your big mouth shut!" As Aliro attempted to
call for assistance on his cellular phone, one of the attackers said, "You
are looking for your cellphone to call your friend Kazini for assistance?"
James Kazini, the chief of staff of the Ugandan Army, and Aliro are
acquaintances. Aliro received surgery on 12 November for his injuries.

The attack is believed to be retaliation for Aliro's investigative report
titled "Safe Houses: A Return to the Shadows?", published in the 27 October
edition of "The Monitor". The article reported that the practice of torture
is re-merging in Uganda at "unagazetted Safe Houses" run by the Internal
Security Organization (ISO) and the Department of Military Intelligence
(DMI).



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